Monday 29th March 2021

Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing today welcomed the opening of the new Postgraduate Mental Health Nurses Scholarships and marked the first instalment of new jobs that will boost mental health support for the Latrobe Valley.

The new jobs are part of important $235 million workforce reforms funded out of the recommendations in the Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

The reforms include educational, training and recruitment initiatives that aim to help overcome critical workforce shortages in the sector, including:

  • an extra 29 full-time Junior Medical Officer (JMO) positions, which is equivalent to 130 additional mental health medical trainee rotations, ensuring critical on-the-ground training opportunities
  • an expansion of the Graduate Mental Health Nurse program, creating 80 new positions
  • 35 extra Senior Nurse Educators supporting the Graduate Mental Health Nurses
  • 70 new scholarships for training Postgraduate Mental Health Nurses, supported by an investment of $1.53 million to pay the full course-cost for nurses.

These recommendations will deliver an additional 143 new roles across the state, with priority given for services in rural and regional Victoria.

For Latrobe Regional Hospital, this means four additional graduate mental health nurse positions and 2.2 full time equivalent senior nurse educator roles.

The investment by the Labor Government to date increases both the resourcing and skills to build a mental health and wellbeing system ready to meet the mental health needs of Victorians.

The Final Report of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System was handed down on Tuesday, 2 March 2021, and the Victorian Government has committed to implementing all its recommendations.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health James Merlino

“Boosting our mental health workforce is critical to ensuring Victorians get the support they deserve and delivering on the Royal Commission.”

 “These reforms mean more doctors and nurses will get the mental health skills needed, boosting capacity across the state.”

Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“This will make a big difference to the existing mental health services provided to the Latrobe Valley community.”

“The reforms will help overcome critical workforce shortages, so Gippslanders have the care they need”.